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  1. As an advocate of outdoor play, post rain or shine, those who know me know that I get very frustrated when I'm stuck indoors. I need fresh air, I need to hear laughing in the distant. I just love unstructured and unplanned play. 

    However, there are those days where we just can't go outside. Sick days, rainy days, afterschool HW and extra curricular days .. there are many. (& as my kids get older I realise they get less time each year to do so) 

    Through playing, children learn about concepts such as wining, loosing and playing fair and also develop problem-solving skills. Indoor play gives children that opportunity to develop such skills. 

    Indoor play opens up a world of imaginative play and Social Play

    Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 10.41.31Role playing, being superheroes, playing 'mummies and daddies', playing shop, dress-ups, tea-parties, playing with cars playing with dolls and soft toys to name a few. ... I used to love sitting all my soft toys around a table and play "schools" 

    The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas. When your child engages in pretend (or dramatic) play, S/he is actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. 

     


    Movement
     

    I have very energetic kids that love to move! Obviously when stuck at home that limits their movement. We recommend the following active tried and tested ideas :) 

    Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 10.53.09I always leave a Bilibo lying around .. We have had this same one for over 10 years. My kids gravitate to it and always end up burning quite a bit of energy with spins and balance. We can not recommend this enough. 

    - Lava - place cushions all over the floor and tell your kids that they cannot put a single toe on the floor as it is "lava". Their mission - They need to get to the other side of the room and pick up the prize (could be a book, or a toy, or a sweet) without touching the floor. it's not as easy as it sounds! but it is lots and lots of fun!! 

     

    Spider Webs

    Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 10.49.48Chose a large enough room and tape toilet paper across making a web. Their aim - to get to the other side without ripping the paper. 

    Clean up 

    Cleaning up CAN be fun for them! My kids love playing this game and in the end - we have a cleared room, exhausted kids and a happy me! win / win! This is best if played with more then 1 child - or + you! 
    Each child gets to choose one song. Once their song is being played it is up to the that child to clean up their toys and more as fast as they can. They need to pick up and clear & put away at least 20 items / pieces before the song finishes. Whilst that song is playing, the other kids relax, sing and dance. 
    When the song is up - the next song comes on and it's the next childs turn to clean up. 
    This is always done with a promise that what ever is left to clean up will be done by me.
    Clean up will never be a chore again! 

    Downtime

    For us, downtime are those days when we are tired & less motivated. This is the time where we move on to reading, puzzles, board games or we watch a movie or series. Now that Christmas is soon here we will soon start to watch all the classics again .. you can't really get enough of them! - our favourites are Muppets Scrooge, Jingle all the Way and the Grinch (original) 


    In other words, play matters, let the children PLAY! 

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  2. Here comes Summer! 12 weeks - approx 90 days of pure bliss, long days and no routine.

    This is my favourite time of the year! A chance to be free after many months of HW, extra curricular, juggling activities .. this is the time to wind down and feel the calm and peace.

    Entertaining kids for 3 months can be extremley difficult though, and although quite a few aticles suggest that it's best for your kids to be bored, little nudges of fun pre planned for "those days" are incredibly important I find. 

    I've drawn up a list of these kind of little nudges of fun that we have enjoyed and that burned a few hours in the day and left them with ever lasting memories of laughs and creativity. Let us know if you try any of them and I do hope they enjoy them as much as we did! :) 

    1. Ice Play

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 09.34.17This is so simple, yet so much fun and they just love it. I freeze some of their favourite random toys and some sweets in a dish. The objective is to smash their way through it and "rescue them" 
    This activity is perfect for a hot day, to cool down with the play of Ice, whilst also improving their motor skills as they work their arms and hands to break through the ice and save their friends. - win win!  
    *this activity can also be done indoors, but we would recommend a plastic sheet under the tray to catch the spills. 


    2. Water balloons and Tins

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 09.33.49

    Another Simple, yet fun activity to keep cool and again have lots of fun. We used old formula tins for this and small water balloons. The kids can stack the tins to prepare the target *an activity in itself). We also drew angry bird faces on the water balloons. 
    Aim - Hit the tins over with the balloons.
    Will the balloon burst? Will the tin fall over?
    This activity helps improve hand eye coordination and encourages curiosity & wonder - what will happen next? 

    3. Impossible Balloons

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 09.31.33

    If you follow me on instagram, you will know that this is a favourite :)

    Fill normal balloons with water and ask your child to try and burst it. They would naturally expect it to burst within seconds. They can't be more wrong. Normal balloons when filled with water are strong and almost impossible to burst. My 3 kids *even my 10 year old, love coming up with ways to get the balloon to burst. They have jumped on it, smashed it with pool guns, threw it across the yard and one time even tried spinning it in a bucket .. It will burst eventually .. giving off a cool splash and a burst of giggles! they will want to do this over and over! 

    4. Puzzles

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 09.17.28We love puzzles! Not only do puzzles engage the child. and help with a vast amount skills, such as 

    • Cognitive Skills
    • Problem Solving
    • Fine motor skills
    • Hand eye coordination
    • Self esteem 

    How about adding some social aspect to it? Once the puzzle is done, tell its story. Let the puzzle become the plan for your "adventures" ask them, where? what? why? who? 

    Have you checked out our latest story telling puzzles yet?  

    5. Indoor Sledging

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.08.28

    I honestly didn't think one would work but I think this was the one of the best indoor afternoons we've ever had!
    We padded the end of the stairs with cushions and pillows and taped a giant piece of cardboard to the stairs. 
    They zoomed down the slide till the cardboard ripped! It was a day where they tested their fears and conquered them. They loved it! 





    6. Free Painting 

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.09.12In this case, I prepared an old plank of wood, but we've used big sheets of paper many other times. I prepared the paints, invited the kids and let them be. 
    In this case they were so free they ended up painting themselves too! 



    7. Water Play with a Bilibo

    Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.06.55

    It's no secret that we are possibly the Bilibo's Biggest fan. The endless amounts of ideas that my kids come up with just using it impresses me each time. Most of the time it is never prompted.

    This time they used it as a water seat. Filling it up with water and spinning in it for the water to splash out of their bottoms with each turn. They themselves found the perfect way to cool off and enjoy the day! 

     

     

     

    In other words, play matters, let the children PLAY! This Summer 

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